Former VP Cheney Heckled by Fellow Conservatives During Speech at CPAC Meeting
Former vice president Dick Cheney appeared at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), where he was greeted like a hero last year, to introduce his old partner-in-crime (literally) Donald Rumsfeld. The Bush-era Defense Secretary was being honored with CPAC’s vaunted “Defender of the Constitution Award.”
In attendance were a veritable who’s who of the reactionary right, from Newt Gingrich to Mitt Romney to Michele Bachmann and even Ann Coulter. There couldn’t be a friendlier audience on the face of the earth. Or so Cheney must have thought, until, that is, supporters of libertarian maverick Ron Paul decided to give Cheney a piece of their minds.
As Cheney took the stage to the strains of Tina Turner’s “Simply the best,” roaring applause mixed with shouts of “draft dodger,” “war criminal” and “Where’s bin Laden?” rang out. Cheney jokingly (I think) retorted “All right, sit down and shut up.” Someone then shouted, even louder, “WAR CRIMINAL!” One of Cheney’s supporters shouted back “liberator” while another joked that the heckler “must be a Canadian.” Through it all, the best Cheney’s supporters could come up with was the idiotic chanting of “USA! USA!” that conservatives often resort to in the face of criticisms they don’t know how to refute in a more intelligent fashion.
Of course, trying to explain to those folks that giving Cheney an award for the defense of the Constitution to Rumsfeld is akin to giving Adolf Hitler a Friends of Israel award is a tall order. Few Bushists did more to trample all over the Constitution than Rumsfeld, an avid supporter of the liberty-shredding Patriot Act, and the very unconstitutional practices of extraordinary rendition and torture. Rumsfeld belongs in the dock at the International Court of Justice, not winning awards in Washington. Ditto for Cheney.
Hats off to the Ron Paul supporters who reminded the world that even some conservatives despise the heinous crimes committed by the Bushists in the name of the American people.
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